The Genus Phalaenopsis is one of the easiest and most rewarding orchids for the beginner, with or without a greenhouse. Following are a few basic cultural guidelines.
The larger, more mature plants can bloom for three months
at a time, and in some cases can bloom twice a year.
LIGHT; Phalaenopsis grow best at approximately 1000 foot candles. (Most photo stores will have foot candle light meters.) These plants are never to receive direct sunlight. The older the plant, the more tolerant to light. The ideal light condition for an apartment or windowsill grower would be a southern exposure. The key to light is "hours of daylight." In the winter the plant must receive 12 hours of light. Remember the key word is "daylight hours." Just morning or afternoon light is not enough for proper growth. Always filtered light - never direct sunlight.
TEMPERATURE; Phalaenopsis will grow between 60° and 90° F, the optimum night temperature is 68° and 68° and 85° F during the day. However, plants will grow reasonably well at temperatures of 64° to 65°F at night and warmer day temperatures.
HUMIDITY; Relative humidity during the daytime should be approximately 70%, and at night about 50% because when night temperature drops, the relative humidity will increase. The easiest way to provide adequate humidity in a home is to fill a plastic or glass tray with gravel or small rocks, and keep a layer of water at the bottom of the tray. The pot should be placed on top of the gravel stones, making sure the bottom of the pot does not come in contact with the water. As the water in the bottom of the tray evaporates, the plant will receive that humidity. It is the plant that should get the humidity, and therefore, the tray should be approximately the width of the leaf and the length of the leaf spread (from the tip of one leaf to the tip of the opposing leaf).
AIR MOVEMENT; Good air movement will prevent fungus and spores from settling on the plant and will also prevent spotting on the flowers due to high humidity. Good cross ventilation is sufficient, however, if you must lock up your home or apartment -especially if you are going to leave for a day or two in warm weather- it is important to run a fan for the length of time you are away. In a greenhouse, it is important to have air movement 24 hours a day, simply because the relative humidity increases with night temperature and because of the area and size. Air movement is essential!!!
WATERING; DON'T OVERWATER!!
Orchids in bark can be watered every 5 to 7 days by giving the plant a complete drenching when it's dry.
For orchids in arrangements, you need to remove the decorative moss on top for the moment and lightly water each pot, making sure not to put any water in the crown of the plants or any place it may stagnate. (Some plants in moss stay moist for more than three weeks, so check these before you water.)
Orchids in moss can be watered every two to three weeks because they retain more water than in bark. Water in the morning when plants are driest.
FERTILIZER; Our fertilizer contains all the nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, calcium, zinc and iron, as well as all the trace elements needed for growing in fir bark -whether you feed every watering, or every other watering. Plain water every four or five weeks will flush out mineral or salts that build-up in the pot.
POTTING; This has the greatest variance of all the culture requirements. Because of different regions in the United States, and world-wide as well, it will vary whether you use fir bark or moss, tree fern, fiber -or whether you will be growing the plant in pots or on plaques. The major requirement is that they have very good drainage. The majority of growers in the United States, especially commercial growers, use fir bark. (Medium size ½" to 5/8" for mature plants. Fine size 1/8" to ¼" for small seedlings). This bark eventually decomposes, so plants should be repotted about every 18 months to two years.
5949 Bonsall Dr.
Malibu, CA 90265
ph: (310) 457-9771
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